The Secretary of State for Local Government, Lands and Religious Affairs, Ismaila Sambou, this week presided over the inauguration ceremony of the Mayor elect of Banjul Samba Faal and his councilors at the BCC Chambers in Banjul.
Delivering his inaugural statement SoS Sambou said Local Government has been recognised globally as being at the core of fundamental local development initiatives.
He said it was for this reason that the Government of The Gambia attaches the utmost importance to supporting local democracy and good governance.
SoS Samba stated that Local Government plays and essential role in the development process of the nation.
He added that in order to build on the success already achieved by the APRC Government under the dynamic leadership of President Jammeh the new council must show endevour to further steer the development of Banjul.
In this process, the SoS told the gathering, they must serve as a shining example for other councils to emulate because Banjul is the capital city and must always be to the forefront of development. This, he added, will ensure The Gambia will stay in its rightful place in a free and democratic world.
He went on to commend the interim management of BCC for its good work during their three-month stint.
The outgoing Chairman of the Interim Management Committee BCC, Mr. Alh. Alieu Mboge, gave stock of the three-month period that his management served.
Mr. Mboge said the revenue base has increased considerably from D7,000 to D30,000 daily.
He pointed out that during Tobaski Wanterr the council was, in one day, able to collect D195,000 from the space provided for market vendors at Albert Market.
Mr. Mboge said the highest revenue they collected in one month was D1,054,000. This he described as a record in the history of BCC.
He also revealed that they have cleared their overdraft with the banks and now have a cash reserve of two million Dalasi and a working capital of over one million.
Commenting on the projects Mr. Mboge said they have rehabilitated the Albert Market abattoir to a standard one. He also commented on the road from Campama to Wilberforce which has been resurfaced.
He said that they have provided quality street lights in the city which were in very poor condition.
“We have improved the standards and sanitary conditions in Banjul and also carried out a staff audit which led to the introduction of a tighter financial regime and better staff discipline in relation to finance and proper management of cash,” he said.
Commenting on the constraints he complained about the lack of vehicles and also the fact that the vehicles they had were inadequate.
Mr. Mboge said in January they were able to increase collections from D755,000 to 900,000 for the council.
He added that the council has 45% shares in the National Lottery and noted that initially they used to receive D100,000 but now they receive 5 million Dalasi.
He called on Banjulians to pay their taxes to council and added that the total debt owed council stands at 22 million Dalasi.
Speaking shortly after taking his oath of office the new Mayor Samba Faal thanked President Jammeh for having the trust and confidence in him to recommend him to contest the recent Local Government Elections.
He also thanked the interim management committee and all the people of Banjul.
He assured Banjulians that the revenue base will continue to follow the trend seen under the stewardship of the interim council and not only maintain current levels but also increase.
Mayor Faal called on Banjulians to forget their political differences and work for the interests of Banjul.
He urged taxpayers to pay their taxes in order that the city might develop.
He said the new team will not compromise with the administration and will continue to work for the people of Banjul by increasing the revenue base.
“If the administration is not ready to deliver then heads will roll,” he assured Banjulians.
In conclusion he said, “we will work hard to achieve the development objectives of the President.”
Meanwhile in another development reports reaching The Point indicate that the Deputy Mayor will come from elected councilors instead of the nominated.